Monday, May 26, 2008

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Rating: 8/10

Published: 1814
Number of pages: 492

Started: 3 May 2008
Finished: 14 May 2008

Summary (taken from blurb):

Fanny Price has always felt like an outsider. She was adopted by her uncle as a child and now lives in luxury at Mansfield Park, but doesn't fit in somehow. Shyer and much sweeter than the glamorous cousins she has grown up with, she feels she can only stand by and watch from the sidelines, never living her own life.

Fanny won't admit - even to herself - who she really loves. Her uncle conducts the search for a husband as if it were a business deal, and when the time for Fanny to marry comes, will she be handed over on a handshake? Or will she have the strength to make her own mistakes - and finally find true happiness?

Another brilliant offering from Jane Austen, although I have to say that it's probably my least favourite of the four I have read so far. I found all of the characters hard to sympathise with, although I did like Fanny. I can understand why people would think she is a weak character and dislike her because of it, but she reminds me quite a lot of myself, and I don't necessarily see myself as weak - I can probably understand her motives and feelings a bit better.

As usual, Austen's writing is beautifully lyrical throughout the book, and interspersed with subtle humour and irony. Another thing I keep forgetting with her books is that everything gets resolved in the last few pages, and they're usually rapped up very quickly and with little dialogue. Sometimes it's a little disappointing and you wish she would give as much time and care to the end of the book as she did to the rest.

Nevertheless, a brilliant read and highly recommended.

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